The story of XRT (and XRT-CERG) over the past 10 years would make a great case study for those interested in the treasury technology space. How the mighty have fallen. Sage – a United Kingdom based software firm (accounting focus) bought a 70% stake according to Finextra.
Approximately eight months ago, Sungard bought Globe$ and TWS from XRT. These two actions made sense for XRT given their situation – they had little hope of surviving or prospering on their own. At least they were able to monetize their customer base and what intellectual capital remained from what they had built up over the years. In another few years would they have had anything to sell?
- The Sage acquisition was for a reported £30
million for 70% of the firm.
- The Sungard acquisition amount was not reported.
What does this mean for Treasury Workstation Providers?
- North America: Nothing. XRT sold their high end workstations earlier and they had no impact on new sales for quite some time.
- Europe: Customer Acquisition and... We’d like to say that better integration of treasury and accounting is likely to occur and will have some beneficial impact (raising the bar) on the TWS and Accounting market. But, we remain somewhat skeptical. Having a better way of pulling bank data into an accounting system is pretty basic – and Sage will need to explain clearly – and demonstrate – what advantage they aim to achieve. Acquiring over 5,000 new customers is certainly a main reason for the acquisition. However, is there a development or integration play here too?
So, XRT customers are now completely absorbed by two larger firms. Again, we reiterate a theme, if you are a treasury workstation vendor and are not keeping current (see related articles) you will get a better price selling now rather than waiting as your customers dwindle off and you have a decreasing level of useful intellectual property to haggle over.